Carolwood Pacific Railroad

The Carolwood Pacific Railroad was a ridable miniature railroad run by Walt Disney in the backyard of his home in Los Angeles, California. It featured the Lilly Belle, a 1: 8-scale live steam locomotive named after Disney’s wife, Lillian Disney, and built by the Walt Disney Studios’ machine shop. The railroad, which became operational in 1950, was 2,615 feet long and encircled his house. In 1953, after an accident occurred in which a guest was injured, the CPRR was closed to the public. The Lilly Belle and some of the freight cars, and the caboose are now on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

About Carolwood Pacific Railroad in brief

Summary Carolwood Pacific RailroadThe Carolwood Pacific Railroad was a ridable miniature railroad run by Walt Disney in the backyard of his home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It featured the Lilly Belle, a 1: 8-scale live steam locomotive named after Disney’s wife, Lillian Disney, and built by the Walt Disney Studios’ machine shop. The railroad, which became operational in 1950, was 2,615 feet long and encircled his house. In 1953, after an accident occurred in which a guest was injured, the CPRR was closed to the public. The locomotive’s design, chosen by Disney after seeing a smaller locomotive model with the same design at the home of rail historian Gerald M. Best, was based directly on the Central Pacific Railroad, a 4-4-0 locomotive built in 1872. The Lilly Belle and some of the freight cars, and the caboose are now on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. The CarolwoodPacific Railroad inspired Disney to include railroad attractions in the design for the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. Railroad attractions in Disney theme parks around the world are now commonplace. The railroad cost USD 50,000, split between its layout and rolling stock, and split evenly at their address at Carolwood Drive, in reference to Disney’s address to his daughters.

The layout would completely surround the house. Disney purchased 5 acres of vacant land in June 1949 to build a new family home with an elaborate backyard railroad behind it. Disney’s father worked as part of a track installation crew for the Union Pacific Railroad. As a young boy, he wanted to become a train engineer like his father’s cousin, Mike Martin, who drove main-line trains on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Disney renewed his interest in trains after injuries forced him to stop playing polo. He purchased several Lionel train sets in late 1947. By 1948, his interest was evolving into an interest in larger, ridableMiniature trains after observing the trains and backyard railroad layouts of several hobbyists. He and his wife named the property Yensid Valley, which is Disney spelled backwards. The property consisted of a bluff, which was 2 acres in size, and a level shelf of land behind it, which Disney named YensID Valley. The barn structure used as the railroad’s control center is now at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.